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"Soufra" is one of the seven films screening at the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival next weekend.

The Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival makes move to the Oriental Theatre

On the same weekend the world's largest movie will come to the big screen, the world will come to the Oriental Theatre's screens with the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival, celebrating its fifth annual edition with four days of movies and diverse perspectives on Islam and the Muslim experience from across the country and across the globe.

Produced by a partnership between Milwaukee Film and the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival will run from Thursday, April 25 through Sunday, April 28, screening seven films – as well as post-showing talkbacks, Q&As and discussions – across the weekend at the event's new home, the Oriental Theatre. (Last year's festival was spread across the UWM Union Cinema, Alverno College, Cardinal Stritch University and Marquette University.)

"We are thrilled to be partnering with one of the best film festivals in the country and showing our films in the beautiful Oriental Theatre," said Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition president and Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival founder Janan Najeeb. "We see this as the next phase in the evolution of the MMFF and are excited to bring this unique festival to Milwaukee Film members and the city at large. As one of very few Muslim film festivals in the country, this simply confirms Milwaukee as a city that embraces art and diversity."

The festival will open on Thursday, April 25 at 7 p.m. with a screening of the documentary "Same God," about Dr. Larycia Hawkins and the 2015 controversy that erupted when she posted on Twitter that Muslims and Christians worship the same God. Both Hawkins and the film's director, Linda Midgett, are scheduled to be in attendance.

Here's the rest of the full Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival lineup:

Thursday, April 25

7 p.m. – "Same God"

Friday, April 26

7 p.m. – "Midnight Traveler": A documentary following Hassan Fazili, an Afghan director who must flee, along with his wife and two daughters, after being targeted by the Taliban due to his outspoken art.

Saturday, April 27

12:30 p.m. – "This Is Home": Four families of Syrian refugees attempt to acclimate to their new lives in Baltimore and the United States' refugee self-sufficiency resettlement program in this documentary.

4 p.m. – "Ghost Hunting": In this documentary in the vein of "The Act of Killing," "Bisbee '17" and "Waltz with Bashir," a filmmaker creates a replica of the Moskobiya interrogation centre in Jerusalem and brings in former inmates – including himself – to reenact, discuss and come to terms with their experiences and memories of imprisonment.

7 p.m. – "Life Without Basketball": This documentary follows the first Division-I athlete to play basketball while wearing a hijab coming to terms with her faith and her place in America after a ruling cuts down her potential professional career before it even begins.

Sunday, April 28

12:30 p.m. – "Soufra": Women in a refugee camp south of Beirut, Lebanon, first team up to create a small kitchen, then expand their dreams to opening the first refugee food truck. In addition to screening the documentary, the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival will also serve food samples from local restaurants run by former refugees after the Sunday showing.

7 p.m. – "Wajd: Songs of Separation": In this musical experience, a filmmaker dives into the sacred traditions and culture of song in the Middle East and how they tie in with Islam. A talkback with Dr. Ismail Quryshi and a musical performance will follow the screening.

Tickets for the films shown at the Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival are available at the Oriental Theatre's website, with admission costing $11 for the general public and $9 for Milwaukee Film members. For more information on the films and the film festival, visit the MMFF's website.


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